Chicago’s Hometown Race Draws Inspiration from Chicago’s Past to Lead Us Into the Future

The Chicago Half Marathon and 5K presented by My Fit Key is held annually in Chicago’s historic Jackson Park, once home to the 1893 World Columbian Exposition.  In 2018 Chicago celebrates the 125th Anniversary of the World Columbian Exposition.

The 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition ushered in a new area and changes with the introduction of many new products, entertainment and technology. The first ferris wheel and brands such as Quaker Oats, Wrigley Gum, Aunt Jemima and Pabst Blue Ribbon to name a few.

As Chicago prepared to set the stage a contest, sponsored by Chicago’s Interocean Newspaper, was designed to place Chicago on the map and leave visitors with a lasting impression. As a result of this contest multiple Chicago icons were born. Most notable; the Chicago Y symbol, and artist Charles Holloway’s goddess and with the motto “I WILL”.

The Y symbolizes the three sides of Chicago; north, south and west. Forever divided by the branches of the Chicago River.  This symbol is found throughout Chicago in architecture and municipal seals.

Chicago Artist Charles Holloway entered one of these contests with his goddess figure suited for battle. Reflecting her defiant attitude, she wore a breastplate that read “I Will.” With her crown depicting a phoenix rising from the flames, she also seems to symbolize the resolve of Chicago to rise from the ashes of the Chicago Fire, which destroyed much of the city.

I WILL become the motto of Chicago. Symbolizing the spirit of the people of Chicago rising from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire.

As we celebrate this historic event, we celebrate the changes coming to Jackson Park. The park will soon go under an expansion to include the site of the President Barack Obama Library and the existing golf course to transform to an 18-hole Tiger Woods Golf Course. 2018 maybe the last time we hold the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K in this exact location and certainly will be the last time we hold the event in it’s current state.

We couldn’t think of a better time to bring the Chicago motto and Holloway’s goddess to the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K.

2018 Chicago Half Marathon and 5K Participant Shirt

Half Marathon Participant Shirt

5K Participant Shirt

Chicagoland Half Marathon Series Medal

The Chicagoland Half Marathon Series honors participants who take on both the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon and Chicago Half Marathon within the same year with the 26.2 Challenge medal.

It takes a lot of ambition and will to take on multiple endurance races just 5 months apart. It is with this, we reveal this year’s 26.2 Challenge medal featuring the Chicago “Y” which will hold the Chicago Spring Half Marathon medal and Chicago Half Marathon medal together as one.

26.2 Challenge Medal

26.2 Challenge Medal Set